From Category: Self-Publishing Resources
This self-publishing company promises quick turnaround and responsive customer service. Pricing is easy to calculate on the website.
99 Designs connects self-published and indie authors with freelance designers to create a professional-looking book or magazine cover. Set your price (minimum $299), describe your concept, and choose from proposals by 10 or more designers.
This free service allows you to self-publish your books in Amazon's popular e-reader format. Books self-published through KDP can participate in the 70% royalty program and are available for purchase on Kindle devices and Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices. With KDP, you can self-publish books in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian and specify pricing in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros.
Clea Saal at Books & Tales has compiled this easy-to-read comparison chart of the prices and terms of a variety of print-on-demand publishing companies.
Artvee offers free, downloadable, high-res images of public domain art from museums around the world. Great for book covers.
Michael La Ronn is a prolific self-published science fiction and fantasy author. His website is updated weekly with videos that share his best advice on writing, publishing, and marketing. We liked his 12-minute spiel on "How to BEAT Self-Doubt as a Writer".
This 2015 article from self-publishing expert David Gaughran's blog "Let's Get Digital" exposes the deceptive marketing practices of Author Solutions and its questionable partnerships with major publishing houses. Author Solutions is the umbrella company for several well-known self-publishing imprints such as iUniverse, Trafford, AuthorHouse, and Xlibris. According to allegations in a pending class-action suit: "Author Solutions operates more like a telemarketing company whose customer base is the Authors themselves. In other words, unlike a traditional publisher, Author Solutions makes money from its Authors, not for them. It does so by selling books back to its Authors, not to a general readership, and by selling its Authors expensive publishing, editing, and marketing services that are effectively worthless."
This article from David Gaughran's self-publishing blog "Let's Get Digital" warns about overpriced intermediaries.
This free program allows you to self-publish your books in print and for B&N's Nook e-reader and compatible devices. The site takes a percentage of sales.
The Alliance of Independent Authors maintains this Watchdog service that rates dozens of self-publishing services based on price, distribution channels, book design quality, and ethics.
IngramSpark is a leading distributor of self-published, small press, and print-on-demand books. In this 2019 article from their website, book designer Michele DeFilippo gives advice on choosing the best fonts for your book. Primary considerations are readability and harmony with the content.
BiblioCrunch is an online marketplace that matches freelancers with projects in book design, editing, proofreading, and illustration. The basic service, which is free, allows users to post projects and receive proposals. Paid membership adds direct access to the directory of freelancers and the ability to message them directly.
Book Brush offers templates to create professional-looking ads and social media images for your books. Create three free images per month with the free membership, or unlimited images with the paid plan, which also includes more design options.
PosterMyWall is a graphic design vendor offering templates and stock images for email marketing, promotional videos, social media posts, and self-published book design. A monthly subscription gives you unlimited templates and various credits toward buying photos, or you can pay for individual images and videos as needed. Their sample book covers on their website are professional-looking and clearly indicate the book's genre.
In this blog post, romantic suspense author Zara West (Beneath the Skin) describes the basic elements of a successful book trailer and how to create them using public-domain music and images.
BookBaby offers self-published authors a full range of services from editing and design to printing, distribution, and marketing. BookBaby is a co-sponsor of our North Street Book Prize—that's how much we trust them! We earn a modest commision when you buy from them using our affiliate link.
Self-publishing service BookBub has compiled this list of articles from their BookBub Partners blog, covering every aspect of the marketing campaign for your self-published or small press book. Topics include book and cover design, pricing, advertising, creating an online platform, author success stories, and how to track the results of your marketing efforts.
Canva is an online resource site for easy-to-use graphic design templates for book covers, newsletters, periodicals, and promotional materials. Some templates are free. Use their print service to create custom stationery, business cards, and flyers.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's "How to Do It Frugally" website is the portal for her award-winning series of books on marketing, editing, and book proposals. Her guides for indie authors have received honors from USA Book News, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the Global Ebook Awards, and others. The Frugal Book Promoter and How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically feature strategies for free or low-cost book publicity. The Frugal Editor and Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers will ensure that your self-published book or manuscript submission looks professional. The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need To Know To Sell Your Book in 30 Minutes or Less covers pitching your manuscript to editors and agents.
Compfight is a search engine to locate Creative Commons (public domain) images on the photo-sharing site Flickr. Use it to illustrate your literary blogs, book covers, or promotional materials.
Creative Commons indexes over 300 million public domain and stock photo images available for licensing for your website, book cover, or marketing materials. Searches can be filtered by the type of permitted use and licensing regime.
The design team at Damonza offers a variety of packages for book cover design, print and e-book formatting, and book trailer videos. They have experience in both fiction and commercial nonfiction. Check out their 800+ samples on their website.
Founded by Alberto Sisí, the Dark Art Movement is an online gallery of macabre visual art in the tradition of Hieronymus Bosch, Francisco Goya, and H.R. Giger. Writers of horror fiction and poetry will find many intriguing images to use as writing prompts or to license for their book covers.
In this 2017 article at Writer Unboxed, Laura Heffernan, self-published author of the romantic comedy novels America's Next Reality Star and Sweet Reality, compares sales figures and Amazon rankings from 19 "daily deal" sites where she advertised her 99-cent e-book sale.
This article from 2020 gives a user-friendly overview of design principles to make e-books more readable and engaging, from font choice to graphic and multimedia elements. Author Cyn Meyer is a content marketer for Podia, a platform for creating online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites.
Founded in 2011, Ebook Launch is a self-publishing services company. They offer proofreading, copyediting, and interior and cover design for your self-published book. Their prices, though not cheap, are clearly stated up front, and their cover designs are professional-looking and unique for each book. It's worth investing in good design to make your book stand out.
In this 2021 guest post at publishing expert Jane Friedman's blog, prizewinning indie novelist Barbara Linn Probst (Queen of the Owls and The Sound Between the Notes) explains the "hybrid publishing" business model. Similar to self-publishing, hybrid publishing requires a financial investment by the author. However, a hybrid publisher may be more selective and will provide more editorial and design services. Hybrid publishers may also offer distribution that is more like a traditional publisher.
Molli Nickell, a former Time-Life editor and journalist, now teaches writers to create marketing documents and make effective pitches to agents and editors. She also guides writers through the pros and cons of self-publishing. Her website features monthly contests with the prize of a free consultation. Based on the sample pitches and manuscript excerpts on the site, this service seems most appropriate for writers of genre fiction or commercial nonfiction.
In this blog post, Amazon Top Reviewer "Bassocantor", a/k/a Chris Lawson, gives advice on how to craft a professional, targeted pitch to solicit book reviews.
Google Fonts is a library of 1,357 free licensed font families and APIs for convenient use via CSS and Android. The Knowledge page adds advice about different font styles and how to choose the one that works best for your project. Learn readability tips regarding line height, kerning, contrast, and more.
Zines are self-published, limited-edition miniature magazines, often illustrated or multimedia. They have long been popular with independent authors, fandom communities, and grassroots political movements. This article from My Modern Met, a creativity and lifestyles website, demonstrates the materials, layout, and binding options for an attractive and easy-to-make zine.
The Independent Book Publishers Association released these guidelines in 2018 to help small presses adhere to best practices, and to assist authors in distinguishing a legitimate author-publisher cost-sharing model from a vanity press. IBPA's Hybrid Publisher Criteria require that hybrid publishers behave just like traditional publishers in all respects, except when it comes to business model. Hybrid publishers use an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all costs themselves, and in exchange return a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author. In other words, although hybrid publishing companies are author-subsidized, they are different from other author-subsidized models in that they adhere to professional publishing standards. IBPA's standards include a competitive editorial selection process, high-quality book design, distribution services, and respectable sales figures.
In 2022 the Independent Book Publishers Association proposed these best-practices guidelines for hybrid publishers, in response to reports that indie authors were losing money on poor book design and misleading promises of royalties. Among their criteria: hybrid publishers should be selective, publish under their own imprint with a clearly defined mission and aesthetic for the press, provide distribution services, and have a track record of sales comparable to other presses in their genre.
Independent Book Review publicizes small press and self-published books through online reviews and author interviews. They also sell editorial services such as developmental and copyediting, proofreading, and book design. (Winning Writers does not recommend paying for reviews; submit your book for consideration to their free reviews service only.)
IndieReader offers self-published authors an attractive, professional-looking portal to list and sell their books. A fun feature of the site is the Indie Book Matchmaker, for readers seeking to discover new authors. Select a type of book from their quirky dropdown menu (options include "Fantasy Romance", "Hard-Boiled", "Based on the Bible", and "About Floral Arrangement"), then select a comparable well-known title from the second menu.
Fiction writer K.S. Brooks administrates this online community that offers a platform for self-published and small press writers to promote their books. Weekly themed contests, judged by the readers of the site, offer the chance to be published on the website and in an annual e-book anthology. "At Indies Unlimited, we support a broad and inclusive definition that encompasses authors whose body of work is not obligated to a single large publishing company. Authors who are exclusively self-published, those who work with small print or regional presses, or small digital publishers, and those who may do some of each, or even have only some work published by traditional publishers are welcome here. The bottom line is that if you consider yourself to be an indie, you most likely qualify."
The best deal we've found for self-publishing. Their print-on-demand software lets authors design their own professional-looking books for only a few dollars a copy. Order anywhere from 25 to 5,000 books.
Digital publishing expert Jane Friedman compiled this extensive list of resources about how to publish an e-book, find the right e-publishing services, and stay on top of changes in the industry.
This 2017 blog post from publishing expert Jane Friedman walks you through the steps of self-publishing a book. Video tutorial included.
Jessica Hische is a successful graphic designer specializing in lettering (typefaces), as well as the author and illustrator of the bestselling children's book Tomorrow I'll Be Brave. Check out her website to get cover-design inspiration, purchase fonts for your book, or hire her for a design project.
Derek Haines, a speculative fiction and thriller writer, maintains this useful blog with advice for self-published authors, with detailed and timely articles about such topics as using social media to sell books.
Children's book author Keith Wheeler creates lively, informative short videos with advice on writing, designing, and marketing your self-published books.
Publishing expert Jane Friedman explains different tracks to book publication in this annually updated chart, which compares the key features of Big Five traditional publishing, small press, indie, hybrid, and self-publishing.
This free 21-page online guide from Kirkus Reviews, a leading book-review publication, walks new authors through their basic options for design, marketing, and distribution of self-published books.
Madhouse Media Publishing is a self-publishing services company based in New South Wales, Australia. Their offerings include editing, book and cover design, print/e-book conversion, and marketing assistance. Visit their blog for how-to articles for indie authors. Their Ebook Revolution Podcast features author interviews about craft and career topics.
Self-publish your own magazine through MagCloud. Simply upload a PDF of your issue and MagCloud will handle printing, mailing, and subscription management. Small press runs are no problem here. Participation is limited while the site is still in beta-testing.
MiblArt offers affordable custom cover designs for self-published books in print and digital formats (e-book or audiobook). They will work in all genres, but their portfolio thus far is mainly commercial nonfiction and genre fiction, especially fantasy and thriller.
Looking for diverse book cover art on a budget? Nappy offers high-quality free stock photos featuring black and brown people.
This New York Times article from July 2011 discusses trends in self-publishing and how to choose the right publishing package.
Images from this searchable database of vintage book illustrations are free to download for your graphic design project. The site attempts to ensure that all images are public-domain and legally accessible in your jurisdiction, but the risk is ultimately on you to confirm permission.